“Thetis Transporting Arms for Achilles” by William Theed

Thetis Transporting Arms for Achilles by William Theed the Elder. ca. 1804–12 Bronze, 50 3/8 × 56 5/16 × 47 1/4 inches. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art No. 2013.35. Purchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso Gift, 2013. [Click on the images above for larger pictures.]

William Forbes Nairn, bust William Forbes Nairn, bust

“Led by a triton, the sea nymph Thetis carried weaponry and armor across the seas to her son Achilles, knowing that he would be among the last to die in the Trojan wars. Neo-classical sculptor William Theed shows her mourning, head bowed in grief, already knowing that her sacrifice is necessary. The subject had particular resonance in Britain in 1805 when Theed first exhibited the model for this bronze at the Royal Academy. This was the year of the Battle of Trafalgar when Horatio Nelson gave his life in Britain’s battle against Napoleon Bonaparte and the French.” — Metropolitan Museum Bulletin

Forbes, whole monument Forbes, pedestal

Left: Detail lower right corner. Right: The Head of the Triton.

Related Material

Photographs, text, and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Cotton, H. E. A. Calcutta Old and New: A Historical and Descriptive Handbook to the City. Calcutta: W. Newman & Co., 1907. Internet Archive. Web. 9 April 2020.

Davies, Philip. Splendours of the Raj: British Architecture in India, 1660-1947. London: Penguin, 1987.

"William Nairn Forbes." Grace's Guide: British Industrial History (this usefully reprints Forbes's obituary from the Institution of Civil Engineers).

Firminger, Rev. Walter K. Thacker's Guide to Calcutta. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink & Co., 1906. Internet Archive. Web. 9 April 2020.

Last modified 9 April 2020